NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander testified today on more examples of “potential terrorist events” that his broad surveillance of Americans has uncovered, claiming the schemes have foiled “more than 50” such events.
Alexander provided two new examples, and considering the dubious nature of the previous ones it wasn’t a surprise that neither of these exactly stood out as a shining example of the virtue of the surveillance state.
The first example was the capture of a Kansas City car parts dealer on a charge of “bank fraud,” which supposedly involved him talking to someone in Yemen about how cool they thought it would be to blow up the New York Stock Exchange. The plot never had any operational backing and there was no effort to actually do anything about it, though one other man was reportedly arrested for “scouting” the site.
Alexander also cited an apparently separate case in which an unnamed man was arrested for “indirect contact with a known terrorist overseas.” Exactly what this even means is unclear, but Alexander said it was vital.